The Channel logo


By | Lester Haines 23rd November 2006 09:47

Indian student develops paper-based storage system

'Rainbow Versatile Disc'

A Kerala student claims to have invented an eco-friendly, paper-based storage system capable of compacting 90 to 450GB on a single disk, Arab News reports.

Sainul Abideen, 24, of the Muslim Educational Society Engineering College, says the secret behind his "Rainbow Versatile Disc" (RVD) is that "instead of using zeroes and ones for computing, he used geometric shapes such as circles, squares and triangles for computing which combine with various colours and preserve the data in images".

This "Rainbow Format" data is then read by a scanner. In a demo at his college lab, Abideen demonstrated 432 pages of foolscap content compacted onto a four-inch-square piece of paper. The Arab News correspondent said he also saw a 45-second video clip read from ordinary paper.

The advantages of the RVD are evident, Abideen says. It's cheap (one tenth of the cost of a CD, he claims, while offering 131 times the storage capacity) and planet-friendly (no nasty polycarbonates here). For example, magazines might dispense with the free CD and offer a Rainbow Data tearsheet instead.

Abideen is currently working on a RVD scanner compact enough to fit in laptops. He's also developing a SIM-card-sized Rainbow Data card for mobile phones capable of carrying 5GB. Thinking bigger, he moots the idea of a "databank with almost 123.60 Petabyte capacity". ®


Hmmm, we're sceptical too: "432 pages of foolscap content compacted onto a four-inch-square piece of paper"? You do the maths, but we reckon that's way short of a 90-450GB disk. Oh yes, and spare us the "I think you'll find there's already a perfectly good paper-based storage system: it's called a book" quips.

alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


Suit-and-tie-wearing man tries to meditate, take deep breaths in faux yoga pose. Photo by Shutterstock
Emotional intelligence, not tech skills, is the way to woo suits
League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe